FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The legalization of marijuana, immigration reform and health care.
These are just three hot-button examples of how the states and the federal government are increasingly out-of-step with each other.
Starting with California, the Justice Department is vowing to keep prosecuting people who possess marijuana there - even if voters approve a ballot measure that would legalize recreational use of the drug.
Attorney General Eric Holder says the administration "strongly opposes" Proposition 19 and will "vigorously enforce" federal drug laws should the measure pass.
Whether or not you approve of marijuana, California is bankrupt and in desperate need of money. Taxing pot might be a way to raise some cash.
Meanwhile - the federal government is going after states like Arizona, which are trying to do something about illegal immigration since the federal laws go all but unenforced.
The Obama administration is suing Arizona, claiming the state's immigration law is unconstitutional. A federal judge has put some of the most controversial parts of the law on hold... but Arizona's governor Jan Brewer is vowing to take her state's case all the way to the Supreme Court.
And then there's President Obama's signature issue of health care reform. It's been the law of the land for several months, yet dozens of states are now challenging it.
A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by 20 of these states can move forward. He says the states can challenge the constitutionality of the law's requirement for all Americans to buy health insurance.
Here’s my question to you: Why does there seem to be a growing disconnect between the states and the federal government?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
The disconnect is far more serious than that, Jack. The real disconnect is between the people and the U.S. government. The states are only trying to follow the collective will of the people, their residents. Frankly, "one nation indivisible" has been divided for a long, long time, and the gulf grows wider each day. The founding fathers would not recognize what's become of what they started.
The American people are a diverse bunch. There are differences in philosophy among the regions. The federal government is a one-size-fits-all organization. The feds cannot dictate social behavior for the entire country without causing unrest. I believe this is one reason the founding fathers set up states rights and gave the federal government limited powers.
Matt in Illinois writes:
Jack, Because there is a disconnect between those who "govern" and those who pay the bills. States are tired of having to pay the bills for unfunded federal mandates and federal officials tying their hands. Citizens are tired of no one listening yet expecting us to pay the bills. It is broken and it needs fixin' now.
Gino in New Orleans writes:
Jack, Historically, there has always been a disconnect between federal authority and those rights relegated to the states. Recently, it seems like the states are places of polarization. Where a state like California is becoming increasingly more and more liberal, my home state of Louisiana is becoming ever more conservative. I think that the federal government is stuck in a balancing act between states pulling further and further apart from one another in the ideology of what constitutes freedom.
Bud in Washington writes:
This is high drama, Jack. Just what the doctor ordered for cleaning out the system. I look forward to the showdown. We've always fought this battle of federal versus states' rights. From the very beginning of the republic, it's been argued: Too much federal government versus too little. Every 50 years or so, we have to clear the air.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.